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Feb 23, 2013 6:58 PM by Erika Flores

Air Force recruit looking for foster home for pet

TUCSON-Time is running out for an Air Force recruit to find a foster home for his dog.

Frank Shetler is leaving soon for boot camp, and he can't bring his dog Dahilia with him.

If he doesn't find a foster home for her soon, he may have to put her up for adoption.

Shetler is leaving for boot camp Monday, and he said he's reached out to all of his family to see if they could take Dahlia in, but her family tells me that's just not an option.

"She means everything to me," said Shetler.

Dahilia isn't just a pup for Shetler.

She's a companion and his best friend.

"I need her to be safe and accounted for and be able to get her back," said Shetler.

Shetler can't bear the thought of losing Dahilia.

"It's terrifying," he said.

Shetler is less than three days away from boot camp.

"I don't know exactly when I will be able to get her back, but I'm hoping I can do so. I need a foster home for a while," said Shetler.

His mother Sheryl said she just can't care for Dahilia while Frank's away.

"I work full time, and she needs more than what I have to offer her right now," she said.

Sheryl said she thinks Dahilia would be better cared for by a retired person or someone who works from home.

"If she's left home alone for too long, she'll get a little bit naughty, but when you're home, she's perfect," said Shetler.

But if no one steps up to foster Dahilia, the Shetlers may have to take her to the shelter.

"We understand that a lot of military members are in a time crunch, so if they do surrender their pet, we've had a few that have come in and have found great homes," said Sara Gromley with the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

Shetler said putting his Dahilia up for adoption is his last resort.

"I really hope that somebody could find it in them to take care of her for a while until I can get her back," said Shetler.
There are resources for active duty members and their dogs.

One is http://dogsondeployment.org/.

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